The Spookiest Destination in Each State

Posted by on October 27, 2020 in Thoughts and Opinions | 0 comments

October 31, 2020

By: Scott Hartbeck, Travel Pulse

Jack O’ Lantern In Woodland With Mist (photo courtesy iStock / Getty Images Plus / RomoloTavani)

Crank up the Creepiness

It’s that time of year again. Time for pumpkin-spice everything and spending our time actively pursuing getting the living daylights scared out of us. In addition to testing your nerves at the harrowing local haunted house, why not pay a visit to your state’s spookiest location to take your Halloween haunts to the next level…

Alabama: Maple Hill Cemetery

PHOTO: Old Wooden swings (Photo via iStock / Getty Images Plus / Thithawat_s)

Hunstville’s Maple Hill is the largest and most historic cemetery in the state and it is home to several hair-raising legends. Most prominent are the noises from the “constantly rocking chair” — said to be from a young woman who was entombed sitting on a rocking chair —and a creaky children’s playground allegedly used by the spirits of the deceased.

Alaska: Kennicott Ghost Town

PHOTO: Ghost town of Kennicott, Alaska (Photo via Christoph Strässler / Wikimedia Commons)

A frontier land that spends a large chunk of its winter under a cloak of darkness is bound to have a few things going bump in the night. Case in point is the Kennecott Copper Mines near Chitina, a former outpost of miners seeking copper turned ghost town—in more ways than one. Rumors persist of spirits haunting the area, with numerous visitors reporting seeing tombstones appear on the side of the road while entering the area.

Arizona: Slaughterhouse Canyon

PHOTO: Mountains near Kingman, Arizona (Photo via iStock / Getty Images Plus / IrisGD)

Legend has it that during the days of the Wild West, a husband went out hunting food for his family one day and never came back, leading to terror and hunger-fuelled hysteria for those left behind. Visit this canyon near Kingman at night and you can allegedly still hear the bloodcurdling screams of the matriarch of the family.

Arkansas: Eureka Springs

PHOTO: Downtown Eureka Springs, Arkansas (Photo via IIP Photo Archive / Flickr / Creative Commons)

Home to scores of scary stories and one of the country’s most haunted historic hotels, Eur-eek-a Springs is a creepy dream come true. Take in tales of the undead downtown before heading up the bluffs to the Crescent Hotel for their nightly ghost walk.

California: Alcatraz Island

PHOTO: Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, California. (photo via f8grapher / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

This rocky island in San Francisco Bay was home to some of America’s most diabolical criminals and while they may have checked out of the prison, some are said to have neglected to leave. Tour the former prison at night for the most frights and to find out all about the spirits that are still doing time.

Colorado: The Stanley Hotel

PHOTO: The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado (Photo via Flickr/David Fulmer)

There are certainly a few chilling locales in the Centennial State—including a couple of haunted casinos and even a Phantom Canyon Road—but the Stanley still reigns supreme when it comes to the “scaries”. The hotel served as the inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining and has been linked to all sorts of supernatural happenings.

Connecticut: Hartford

PHOTO: Mark Twain House & Museum (Photo via saebaryo / flickr)

Strange happenings abound in the state capital, with two of the more infamous locations being the former of Mark Twain—the Mark Twain House Museum—and the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, which is located on the site of the infamous Wethersfield Witch Trials.

Delaware: Fort Delaware

PHOTO: Fort Delaware (Photo via Michael Romagnoli / Wikimedia Commons)

An island fort that housed scores of Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, Fort Delaware is said to be haunted by many of the souls who were incarcerated here. A woman in black and multiple men in military garb are two of the specters that go bump in the night here.

Florida: St. Augustine

PHOTO: The interior of the St. Augustine Lighthouse (Photo via Jessica Spengler / Flickr)

The oldest continuously-occupied city in the United States, St. Augustine overflows with history—and haunts. Take an organized ghost tour before paying a visit to the St. Augustine Lighthouse, a beacon that purportedly attracts spirits from beyond the grave.

Georgia: Savannah

PHOTO: Forsyth Park fountain in Savannah, Georgia. (photo courtesy of SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

There’s an ethereal quality to the fountains and Spanish moss of Savannah and perhaps that’s why many spirits are said to have stuck around long after their time. The most infamous spot in town is the Marshall House Hotel, which was used as a hospital during the Civil War and multiple yellow fever outbreaks.

Hawaii: Honolulu

PHOTO: Iolani Palace in Honolulu, Hawaii (Photo via iStock / Getty Images Plus / sphraner)

The capital of Hawaii is also the hub of hauntings in the state. Historic Iolani Palace is said to be the home of many mischievous spirits of its former residents while a trip to Nuuanu Pali Lookout— where hundreds of Hawaiian warriors once fell to their death—is sure to raise the hair on the back of your neck.

Idaho: Shoshone Ice Caves

Photo: Shoshone Falls Idaho (Photo via Flickr/Todd Kulesza)_

Located on the outskirts of Shoshone—and a short drive from the stunning waterfalls—you’ll find these otherworldly ice caves. Ice remains all year long inside these caves, but that’s not why you’ll feel a chill down your spine; many people have reported hearing footsteps and other noises in the depths of the caverns.

Illinois: Airtight Bridge

PHOTO: Airtight bridge in Illinois (Photo via Nyttend / Wikimedia Commons)

This chilling span near Charleston is said to own an eerie sense of stillness, with the feeling descending upon anyone who crosses it. Is it connected to the grisly discovery that was made here in 1980? There’s only one way to find out and that’s experiencing it for yourself.

Indiana: French Lick

West Baden Springs Hotel (Photo via Sarah Poole / flickr)

The resort of French Lick used to be the frequented by mobsters and other characters of ill repute and many are said to still be doing business today. Both of the resort’s gorgeous historic hotels feature brilliant architecture and a few famous ghostly encounters.

Iowa: The Villisca Ax Murder House

PHOTO: The Villisca Ax Murder House (Photo via Jason McLaren / Wikimedia Commons)

There’s still lots of mystery surrounding the murders that took place in this otherwise innocuous home in Villisca. The main question is: who actually was the person behind the ax murders that claimed the lives of an entire family? Visit (or stay the night) to dig deep into this diabolical crime.

Kansas: Stull Cemetery

PHOTO: Stull Cemetery (Photo via Ayleen Gaspar / Wikimedia Commons)

Located between Lawrence and Topeka, this small town cemetery allegedly possesses a gateway to the underworld. For decades, rumors have persisted that strange occult rituals take place after dark, with some said to even feature an appearance from Lucifer himself.

Kentucky: Waverly Hills Sanitarium

PHOTO: The front of Waverly Hills Sanatorium today (Photo via Aaron Vowels / Flickr / Creative Commons)

Turn of the 20th-century mental hospitals —or ” sanitariums” as they were known—never enjoyed a positive image due to their experimental treatments and questionable treatment of patients. While their primitive practices have been banished, the buildings they were located in are still lurking around our cities, and Waverly in Louisville is said to be one of the country’s most haunted.

Louisiana: New Orleans

PHOTO: Lafayette Cemetery in New Orleans. (photo via Joe Pearl Photography/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

From the haunted mansions of the French Quarter to the tomb-lined lanes that cut through the city’s above-ground cemeteries, New Orleans is home to scores of eerie sights. Visit St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 to see the tomb of Marie Laveau, the infamous voodoo priestess whose spirit is said to still cast spells.

Maine: Mount Hope Cemetery

PHOTO: Mount Hope Cemetery in autumn (Photo via Svetlana Miljkovic / Wikimedia Commons)

This serene cemetery is one of the nation’s oldest garden cemeteries but it gained notoriety for serving as a filming location for the horror film inspired by Stephen King’s book Pet Sematary. While the book and movie are works of fiction, visitors have reported hearing strange sounds, including the cackling of children.

Maryland: Seneca Creek State Park

PHOTO: The famous wood scenes of ‘The Blair Witch Project’ can be found in Seneca Creek State Park. (photo via Flickr / Nicolas Ramond)

The groundbreaking “found footage” film Blair Witch Project made the town of Burkittsville and its surrounding woods famous, but most of the movie wasn’t actually filmed there. A majority of the filming took place in this state park, which can get a little spooky when seen in the right autumn light.

Massachusetts: Salem

PHOTO: The Salem Witch House was the site of the infamous 1692 witch trials in Massachusetts (Photo via

A visit to Salem near Halloween will show you that the notorious witch trials that made the town infamous are just the beginning of this town’s eerie atmosphere. In addition to old cemeteries and a hospital that is claimed to be haunted, Salem is also home to the sinister residence that inspired the book The House of the Seven Gables.

Michigan: Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island

From the supposed haunted halls of the Grand Hotel to the devilish Witch’s Drowning Pool, this historic Great Lakes town has a lot of skeletons hiding in its closet. Some say that many of the hauntings can be traced back to the fact that Fort Mackinaw was built over a Native American burial ground.

Minnesota: Red Wing

PHOTO: Aerial view of Red Wing, Minnesota (Photo via Scott Costello / Flickr)

This Mississippi River town is home to multiple stories of specters and apparitions, and they all seem to center around the St. James Hotel. This lodging was also constructed over sacred Native American ground and visions of those buried have been known to keep hotel guests company in the corridors.

Mississippi: Vicksburg

Vicksburg (Photo via NatalieMaynor / flickr)

Home to two of the Magnolia State’s most haunted locales, Vicksburg is the perfect place to spend a couple days during Halloween season. Start at Vicksburg National Military Park, the scene of a bloody Civil War battle—and several spirit sightings—before visiting the McRaven Tour Home, which once served as a hospital and is the final resting place of multiple people.

Missouri: St. Louis

PHOTO: Lemp Mansion in St. Louis (Photo via Paul Sableman / Flickr)

From the deathly tales and hauntings at a brewing family’s home to the mysteries of a road built near ancient burial mounds, the ‘Lou is loaded with spooky vibes. Start your scary adventure at the Lemp Mansion, where generations of one famous brewing family met a series of unfortunate demises before heading out to Wildwood to see Zombie Road, a street that has a way of freaking out motorists.

Montana: Virginia City

PHOTO: Virginia City, Montana (Photo via iStock / Getty Images Plus / kevinruss)

This Old West ghost town was once filled with gunslingers, miners and other wild characters and some are still knocking around the place. Admire the ramshackle wooden buildings before making for the Bale of Hay Saloon, said to be local spirits’ favorite place to wet their whistle.

Nebraska: Lincoln

PHOTO: The sun sets over the State Capitol Building in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo via ChrisBoswell / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Lincoln’s crown jewel is the Nebraska capitol building, which is known around the world for its excellent Art Deco architecture. It’s long been rumored that some people love the building so much that they stick around after their time is up. There have been several reported deaths at the capitol, leaving some to theorize that the spirits of the deceased are responsible for unexplained occurrences in the building.

Nevada: Area 51

PHOTO: Road to Area 51 (Photo via iStock / Getty Images Plus / Dreamscenes)

Didn’t get a chance to “storm Area 51” during that ill-fated viral Facebook event in 2019? Then drive out to the vicinity of this world-famous albeit “secret” military base to basque in the eeriness of the Nevada desert and contemplate the things that may—or may not—have happened on the other side of the barricade.

New Hampshire: Manchester

PHOTO: Manchester, New Hampshire Skyline (Photo via SeanPavonePhoto /iStock / Getty Images Plus)

This former industrial city has quite a few otherworldly stories to share. First and foremost is the R.G. Sullivan Building, which was infamous for using child labor, and it’s said that you can still hear the screams of the overworked to this day. Scary tales also involve a ghostly jogger on the local River Road and the spirit of a monk who meanders across the grounds of St. Anselm College.

New Jersey: The Devil’s Tree

PHOTO: The Devil’s Tree (Photo via Daniel Case / Wikimedia Commons)

Those craving a ghoulish Garden State experience will love what they find standing in a field on Mountain Road in Somerset County. The roots of this spindly beast allegedly stretch to the underworld while its branches have supposedly been the scene of visions of hanging bodies.

New Mexico: Santa Fe

La Posada de Santa Fe (Photo via Marriott)

The country’s second-oldest city is home to a wealth of supernatural activity and you may not even need to leave your hotel to have a paranormal experience. Two of the most famous examples are at the La Fonda, where both a judge and gambler who met his demises are said to still be hanging around, and the La Posada, where a glamourous lady of 1880s Santa Fe high society is said to appear to guests.

New York: Sleepy Hollow

PHOTO: The 18th-century Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow, New York. (Photo via iStock / Getty Images Plus / JacobH)

This village on the Hudson was the setting for the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and while you won’t bump into a headless horseman, you are certain to get a few chills in the characterful local cemetery.

North Carolina: Brown Mountain

Brown Mountain is the scene of unexplained lights in the night sky. (Photo via Thomson200/ Wikimedia Commons)

Mysterious lights have been spotted over Brown Mountain since before the Civil War and the source of the illuminations are still a mystery. Outer space? The work of the devil? Stop by at night to judge for yourself.

North Dakota: White Lady Lane

PHOTO: Country lane in Leroy, North Dakota (Photo via Andrew Filer / Flickr / Creative Commons)

Somewhere out on Country Road 9 between Leroy & Walhalla, you’ll come across a decrepit bridge and you might just come across the specter of a bride. This distressed newlywed is said to have hung herself from the span and if you drive past at night you have a chance at catching a glimpse of her.

Ohio: The Ohio State Reformatory

PHOTO: Inside the The Ohio State Reformatory (Photo via Niagara66 / Wikimedia Commons)

This mansion for criminals in Mansfield is rumored to be haunted by some of its most maniacal former residents. The prison is also well known for hosting Ohio’s finest haunted house each October and for being a filming location for The Shawshank Redemption.

Oklahoma: Guthrie

PHOTO: Welcome to Guthrie, Oklahoma (Photo via John Regan / Flickr)

Oklahoma’s oldest city sprung up overnight during the state’s famous land rush and some of its former residents are in no rush to leave. Spirits are said to haunt the Santa Fe Depot train station, the Pollard Theatre and—in what is the most famous of all—the Stone Inn.

Oregon: Portland

PHOTO: Portland, Oregon with Mount St. Helens in the background. (Photo via thyegn/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Portland may be more known for craft beer and gourmet eats these days, but it most certainly has a seedy past. Legend says that during days of old, local men were kidnapped and sold against their will to serve as crew on Asia-bound ships. This was allegedly facilitated through a series of underground passageways called the “Shanghai Tunnels”, which can be viewed on special tours. Elsewhere, the city is home to former saloons and cemeteries that also have a dark past and ghostly presents.

Pennsylvania: Eastern State Penitentiary

PHOTO: Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. (photo by Donald Wood)

When it opened in 1829, Eastern State was regarded as a trailblazer in both prison design and correctional philosophy and some of its former prisoners loved their stay so much they have decided to permanently forgo parole. Tours of the prison are available, with haunting voices often being reported coming from Cell Block 12.

Rhode Island: Providence

PHOTO: Providence, Rhode Island skyline (Photo via SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

The capital of Rhody is home to more than a few scary stories. The former Biltmore hotel is legendary for its Prohibition-era apparitions while the Stephen Harris House is the former home a cursed family that inspired the short story The Shunned House.

South Carolina: Charleston

PHOTO: Old Charleston Jail (Photo via ProfReader / Wikimedia Commons)

You can’t swing a dead cat around Charleston without running into a tale that involves a dead person coming back for a bit of haunting. The Old City Jail is a hotspot of paranormal activity, as are the local cemeteries and a former ammunition depot called the Powder Magazine.

South Dakota: Deadwood

PHOTO: The Bullock Hotel in Deadwood, South Dakota (Photo via Aaron Vowels / Flickr / Creative Commons)

Hey, with a name like Deadwood, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the undead feel at home here. This town was one of the wildest in the West and many of the disturbed souls that met their demise here are said to still walk the streets. The Bullock Hotel is regarded as the most haunted, as many have reported seeing legendary lawman and hotel namesake Seth Bullock patrolling the halls—despite the fact he passed away over a hundred years ago.

Tennessee: Bell Witch Cave

PHOTO: Kentucky’s spooky Bell Witch Cave (Photo via Www78 / Wikimedia Commons)

The Bell Witch has been the subject of scary bedtime stories in Tennessee for nearly two centuries and was even said to have been mentioned in an anecdote by President Andrew Jackson. The Witch is said to have put a ruinous curse on a local family and now hides in the cave waiting for her next chance to pounce.

Texas: Galveston

PHOTO: Hotel Galvez in Galveston, Texas (Photo via Nicolas Henderson / Flickr)

Stately Galveston knows how to have a good time, but it’s also suffered its fair share of tragic events, with some of the latter serving catalysts for hauntings. The best example is the grand Hotel Galvez, which served as a makeshift morgue after the catastrophic 1900 hurricane and is said to still house both glamorous former guests and some of the victims of the natural disaster.

Utah: Rio Grande Railroad Depot

PHOTO: The Rio Grande Railroad Depot in Salt Lake City (Photo via vxla / Wikimedia Commons)

This gorgeous former train station is shuttered, but don’t tell that to the ghosts who are apparently still waiting around for their train. Paramount among them is the Purple Lady, who legend says was struck by a train when she scrambled on to the tracks to retrieve an engagement ring.

Vermont: Stowe

PHOTO: Stowe Community Church; Stowe, Vermont. (Photo via DonLand/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

As if you needed another reason to visit this idyllic England town in autumn? Not only is Stowe the home of Boots Berry—a beloved townsperson who fell to his death during a snowstorm and is said to return during heavy snowfall—but you will also find Emily’s Bridge here, too. This span is haunted by a young girl in a wedding dress who met her demise way too early.

Virginia: Richmond

PHOTO: Richmond, Virginia skyline on the James River (Photo via SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Virginia is said to be home to more registered haunts than any other state, but the capital of the state takes the cake. Not only is there an Edgar Allan Poe museum here, but the city is also home to the harrowing Hollywood Cemetery, which isn’t nearly as glamourous as its name suggests. No, its more ghoulish, as thousands of soldiers from the Civil War are buried here alongside an eerie tomb that is said to be the home of the “Richmond Vampire”.

Washington: Bellingham

PHOTO: Mt. Baker Theatre in Bellingham, Washington (Photo via Benjamin Cody/ Wikimedia Commons)

Do you know the old saying “the show must go on”? Well, a few of the performers at the Mt. Baker Theatre have taken things a little too far. The most beloved is a spirit with the “stage name” Jody who enjoys taking in the action on stage and occasionally rubbing the back of male theatre attendees.

West Virginia: Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

West Virginia’s Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. (Photo via Richie Diesterheft / Wikimedia Commons)

This formal facility for those with psychological conditions was a cramped, decrepit place and many of the people who suffered through “treatment” here are said to haunt it to this day. Guests have reported hearing shrill screams and doors being slammed shut.

Wisconsin: Milwaukee

PHOTO: Skyscrapers of Milwaukee, Wisconsin take off towards the clouds on a beautiful fall day. (photo via ImagesbyK/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

This Badger State’s biggest city is home to multiple reported haunts, but nothing has grabbed headlines like the creepy goings-on at the Pfister Hotel, which is said to have several spooks running loose. Recent incidents have seen members of multiple MLB teams claim that an apparition has visited them in their room.

Wyoming: Devil’s Tower

Devil’s Tower National Monument (Photo via LaserLens / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Made world-famous by a starring role in Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Devil’s Tower is as otherwordly as it is naturally stunning. Visit for yourself to learn all about the legends that surround this ghostly geological feature.

Originally posted October 26, 2020 by Travel Pulse:

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